Richard Stallman

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Richard Stallman
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{{pp-30-500|small=yes}}{{short description|American software freedom activist, short story writer and computer programmer, founder of the GNU project}}{{use mdy dates|date=June 2016}}{{BLP sources|date=September 2019}}

New York City, New York (state)>New York, US| other_names = rms, RMSCambridge, Massachusetts>Cambridge, Massachusetts, USHarvard University|Massachusetts Institute of Technology}}Activist|programmer}}| title =Free software movementGNU>EmacsGNU Compiler Collection>GCCGPL>copyleftFree Software Foundation>FSF}}| awards = {hide}ubl }}Richard Matthew Stallman ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|s|t|ɔː|l|m|ən}}; born March 16, 1953), often known by his initials, rms, and occasionally upper-case RMS, is an American free software movement activist and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute, and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.Stallman launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software. With this, he also launched the free software movement. He has been the GNU project's lead architect and organizer, and developed a number of pieces of widely used GNU software including, among others, the GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Debugger, and GNU Emacs text editor. In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In September 2019, he resigned as president of the FSF and left his "visiting scientist" role at MIT.WEB,weblink Computer scientist Richard Stallman resigns from MIT after Jeffrey Epstein comments, Musil, Steven, CNET, en, 2019-10-01, Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law to preserve the right to use, modify, and distribute free software, and is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most widely used free software license.In 1989, he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management (which he referred to as digital restrictions management, calling the more common term misleading), and other legal and technical systems which he sees as taking away users' freedoms. This has included software license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, activation keys, dongles, copy restriction, proprietary formats, and binary executables without source code.

Early life

Stallman was born March 16, 1953,WEB,weblink Biography, Stallman, Richard,, 2019-04-13, in New York City, to a family of Jewish heritage. He was interested in computers at a young age; when Stallman was a pre-teen at a summer camp, he read manuals for the IBM 7094.WEB, Gross, Michael, Richard Stallman: High School Misfit, Symbol of Free Software, MacArthur-Certified Genius,weblink The More Things Change, April 9, 2014, interview transcript, 1999, From 1967 to 1969, Stallman attended a Columbia University Saturday program for high school students. Stallman was also a volunteer laboratory assistant in the biology department at Rockefeller University. Although he was interested in mathematics and physics, his teaching professor at Rockefeller thought he showed promise as a biologist.His first experience with actual computers was at the IBM New York Scientific Center when he was in high school. He was hired for the summer in 1970, following his senior year of high school, to write a numerical analysis program in Fortran. He completed the task after a couple of weeks ("I swore that I would never use FORTRAN again because I despised it as a language compared with other languages") and spent the rest of the summer writing a text editor in APL and a preprocessor for the PL/I programming language on the IBM System/360.

Harvard University and MIT

As a first-year student at Harvard University in fall 1970, Stallman was known for his strong performance in Math 55. He was happy: "For the first time in my life, I felt I had found a home at Harvard."In 1971, near the end of his first year at Harvard, he became a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and became a regular in the hacker community, where he was usually known by his initials, RMS, which he used in his computer accounts.BOOK, Lih, Andrew, 2009, The Wikipedia Revolution, Hyperion, New York City, 978-1-4013-0371-6, 232977686,weblink Stallman received a bachelor's degree in physics (magna cum laude) from Harvard in 1974.WEB, Stallman, Richard, Serious Bio,weblink July 17, 2015, Stallman considered staying on at Harvard, but instead decided to enroll as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He pursued a doctorate in physics for one year, but left that program to focus on his programming at the MIT AI Laboratory.BOOK, Williams, Sam, Free as in freedom : Richard Stallman's crusade for free software, 2002, O'Reilly, Beijing, 0-596-00287-4, 2nd, Chapter 6 – The Emacs Commune,weblink While working (starting in 1975) as a research assistant at MIT under Gerry Sussman, Stallman published a paper (with Sussman) in 1977 on an AI truth maintenance system, called dependency-directed backtracking. This paper was an early work on the problem of intelligent backtracking in constraint satisfaction problems. {{As of|2009}}, the technique Stallman and Sussman introduced is still the most general and powerful form of intelligent backtracking. The technique of constraint recording, wherein partial results of a search are recorded for later reuse, was also introduced in this paper.As a hacker in MIT's AI laboratory, Stallman worked on software projects such as TECO, Emacs for Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS), and the Lisp machine operating system (the CONS of 1974–1976 and the CADR of 1977–1979—this latter unit was commercialized by Symbolics and Lisp Machines, Inc. (LMI) starting around 1980). He would become an ardent critic of restricted computer access in the lab, which at that time was funded primarily by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). When MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) installed a password control system in 1977, Stallman found a way to decrypt the passwords and sent users messages containing their decoded password, with a suggestion to change it to the empty string (that is, no password) instead, to re-enable anonymous access to the systems. Around 20 percent of the users followed his advice at the time, although passwords ultimately prevailed. Stallman boasted of the success of his campaign for many years afterward.Stallman resigned from MIT in 2019 after an email exchange related to Jeffrey Epstein, Marvin Minsky, and sexual assault of minors.WEB, Resignation,weblink September 16, 2019, Stallman, Richard, September 16, 2019, I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.,

Events leading to GNU

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the hacker culture that Stallman thrived on began to fragment. To prevent software from being used on their competitors' computers, most manufacturers stopped distributing source code and began using copyright and restrictive software licenses to limit or prohibit copying and redistribution. Such proprietary software had existed before, and it became apparent that it would become the norm. This shift in the legal characteristics of software was a consequence triggered by the US Copyright Act of 1976.When Brian Reid in 1979 placed time bombs in the Scribe markup language and word processing system to restrict unlicensed access to the software, Stallman proclaimed it "a crime against humanity". During an interview in 2008, he clarified that it is blocking the user's freedom that he believes is a crime, not the issue of charging for software. Stallman's texinfo is a GPL replacement, loosely based on Scribe;WEB,weblink Texinfo – GNU Documentation System – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF),, February 19, 2015, March 27, 2015, the original version was finished in 1986.Gnu Status, by Richard M. Stallman. 5. Documentation system. I now have a truly compatible pair of programs which can convert a file of texinfo format documentation into either a printed manual or an Info file. Documentation files are needed for many utilities., February 1986, GNU'S BULLETIN, Volume 1 No.1In 1980, Stallman and some other hackers at the AI Lab were refused access to the source code for the software of a newly installed laser printer, the Xerox 9700. Stallman had modified the software for the Lab's previous laser printer (the XGP, Xerographic Printer), so it electronically messaged a user when the person's job was printed, and would message all logged-in users waiting for print jobs if the printer was jammed. Not being able to add these features to the new printer was a major inconvenience, as the printer was on a different floor from most of the users. This experience convinced Stallman of people's need to be able to freely modify the software they use.Richard Greenblatt, a fellow AI Lab hacker, founded Lisp Machines, Inc. (LMI) to market Lisp machines, which he and Tom Knight designed at the lab. Greenblatt rejected outside investment, believing that the proceeds from the construction and sale of a few machines could be profitably reinvested in the growth of the company. In contrast, the other hackers felt that the venture capital-funded approach was better. As no agreement could be reached, hackers from the latter camp founded Symbolics, with the aid of Russ Noftsker, an AI Lab administrator. Symbolics recruited most of the remaining hackers including notable hacker Bill Gosper, who then left the AI Lab. Symbolics also forced Greenblatt to resign by citing MIT policies. While both companies delivered proprietary software, Stallman believed that LMI, unlike Symbolics, had tried to avoid hurting the lab's community. For two years, from 1982 to the end of 1983, Stallman worked by himself to clone the output of the Symbolics programmers, with the aim of preventing them from gaining a monopoly on the lab's computers.Stallman argues that software users should have the freedom to share with their neighbors and be able to study and make changes to the software that they use. He maintains that attempts by proprietary software vendors to prohibit these acts are antisocial and unethical. The phrase "software wants to be free" is often incorrectly attributed to him, and Stallman argues that this is a misstatement of his philosophy. He argues that freedom is vital for the sake of users and society as a moral value, and not merely for pragmatic reasons such as possibly developing technically superior software.WEB,weblink Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism,, March 27, 2015, Eric S. Raymond, one of the creators of the open-source movement,WEB,weblink History of the Open Source Initiative,, March 27, 2015, argues that moral arguments, rather than pragmatic ones, alienate potential allies and hurt the end goal of removing code secrecy.In February 1984, Stallman quit his job at MIT to work full-time on the GNU project, which he had announced in September 1983. Since then, he has remained affiliated with MIT as an unpaidWEB,weblink Stallman shares Takeda award of nearly $1M, MIT News, visiting scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.WEB,weblink Richard Stallman – MIT CSAIL,, Until "around 1998", he maintained an office at the Institute that doubled as his legal residence.WEB, Stallman, Richard, 2018, Lifestyle,weblink Richard Stallman's Personal Site, August 30, 2018,

GNU project

Stallman announced the plan for the GNU operating system in September 1983 on several ARPANET mailing lists and USENET. He started the project on his own and describes: "As an operating system developer, I had the right skills for this job. So even though I could not take success for granted, I realized that I was elected to do the job. I chose to make the system compatible with Unix so that it would be portable, and so that Unix users could easily switch to it."File:Richard Stallman 00.jpg|thumb|left|Stallman in 2003 at the opening ceremony of NIXAL (a GLUG) at Netaji Subhash Engineering CollegeNetaji Subhash Engineering CollegeIn 1985, Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motivation for creating a free operating system called GNU, which would be compatible with Unix. The name GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix". Soon after, he started a nonprofit corporation called the Free Software Foundation to employ free software programmers and provide a legal infrastructure for the free software movement. Stallman is the nonsalaried president of the FSF, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Massachusetts. Stallman popularized the concept of copyleft, a legal mechanism to protect the modification and redistribution rights for free software. It was first implemented in the GNU Emacs General Public License, and in 1989 the first program-independent GNU General Public License (GPL) was released. By then, much of the GNU system had been completed.Stallman was responsible for contributing many necessary tools, including a text editor (Emacs), compiler (GCC), debugger (GNU Debugger), and a build automator (GNU make). The notable omission was a kernel. In 1990, members of the GNU project began using Carnegie Mellon's Mach microkernel in a project called GNU Hurd, which has yet to achieve the maturity level required for full POSIX compliance.In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a Finnish student, used the GNU's development tools to produce the free monolithic Linux kernel. The existing programs from the GNU project were readily ported to run on the resultant platform. Most sources use the name Linux to refer to the general-purpose operating system thus formed, while Stallman and the FSF call it GNU/Linux. This has been a longstanding naming controversy in the free software community. Stallman argues that not using GNU in the name of the operating system unfairly disparages the value of the GNU project and harms the sustainability of the free software movement by breaking the link between the software and the free software philosophy of the GNU project.File:Richard Matthew Stallman.jpeg|thumb|Cover picture for O'Reilly Media's book (Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software|Free as in Freedom)]]Stallman's influences on hacker culture include the name POSIX and the Emacs editor. On Unix systems, GNU Emacs's popularity rivaled that of another editor vi, spawning an editor war. Stallman's take on this was to canonize himself as St. IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs and acknowledge that "vi vi vi is the editor of the beast", while "using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance". On his homepage Stallman explains what a life in the Church of Emacs means to its members: "Sainthood in the Church of Emacs requires living a life of purity—but in the Church of Emacs, this does not require celibacy (a sigh of relief is heard)".In 1992, developers at Lucid Inc. doing their own work on Emacs clashed with Stallman and ultimately forked the software into what would become XEmacs. The technology journalist Andrew Leonard has characterized what he sees as Stallman's uncompromising stubbornness as common among elite computer programmers:In 2018, Stallman instituted "Kind Communication Guidelines" for the GNU project to help its mailing list discussions remain constructive while avoiding explicitly promoting diversity.WEB,weblink Linus Torvalds is back at Linux while GNU's Stallman unveils a "kindness policy", Steven, Melendez, Fast Company, 2018-10-22, 2019-09-24,


Stallman has written many essays on software freedom, and has been an outspoken political campaigner for the free software movement since the early 1990s. The speeches he has regularly given are titled The GNU Project and the Free Software Movement, The Dangers of Software Patents, and Copyright and Community in the Age of Computer Networks. In 2006 and 2007, during the eighteen month public consultation for the drafting of version 3 of the GNU General Public License, he added a fourth topic explaining the proposed changes.Stallman's staunch advocacy for free software inspired the creation of the Virtual Richard M. Stallman (vrms), software that analyzes the packages currently installed on a Debian GNU/Linux system, and reports those that are from the non-free tree. Stallman disagrees with parts of Debian's definition of free software.In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free online encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles. The resulting GNUPedia was eventually retired in favour of the emerging Pseudopedia, which had similar aims and was enjoying greater success.Stallman is a world traveler and has visited at least 65 countries, mostly to speak about free software and the GNU project. According to Stallman, the free software movement has much in common with that of Mahatma Gandhi. Stallman is also highly critical of the effect that drug patents have had on developing countries.JOURNAL,weblink Patent law is, at best, not worth keeping, Richard, Stallman, Loy. U. Chi. L. J., 45, 389, 2013, WEB,weblink Biopiracy or bioprivateering?, Richard, Stallman, Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance, 2009-04-22, 2018-09-13, (File:NicoBZH - Richard Stallman (by-sa) (10).jpg|thumb|left|Stallman giving a speech on "Free Software and Your Freedom" at the biennale du design of Saint-Étienne (2008))In Venezuela, Stallman has delivered public speeches and promoted the adoption of free software in the state's oil company (PDVSA), in municipal government, and in the nation's military. In meetings with Hugo Chávez and in public speeches, Stallman criticised some policies on television broadcasting, free speech rights, and privacy. Stallman was on the Advisory Council of Latin American television station teleSUR from its launch but resigned in February 2011, criticizing pro-Gaddafi propaganda during the Arab Spring.In August 2006, at his meetings with the government of the Indian State of Kerala, he persuaded officials to discard proprietary software, such as Microsoft's, at state-run schools. This has resulted in a landmark decision to switch all school computers in 12,500 high schools from Windows to a free software operating system.After personal meetings, Stallman obtained positive statements about the free software movement from the then-president of India, {{nowrap|A. P. J. Abdul Kalam}}, French 2007 presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, and the president of Ecuador Rafael Correa.Stallman has participated in protests about software patents, digital rights management, and proprietary software.Protesting against proprietary software in April 2006, Stallman held a "Don't buy from ATI, enemy of your freedom" placard at a speech by an ATI representative in the building where Stallman worked, resulting in the police being called. ATI has since merged with AMD Corporation and has taken steps to make their hardware documentation available for use by the free software community.In response to Apple's Macintosh look and feel lawsuits against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard in 1988, Stallman called for a boycott of Apple products on the grounds that a successful look and feel lawsuit would "put an end to free software that could substitute for commercial software".WEB,weblink GNU's Bulletin, vol. 1 no. 5 – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation,, June 11, 1988, March 27, 2015, The boycott was lifted in 1995, which meant the FSF started to accept patches to GNU software for Apple operating systems.WEB,weblink GNU's Bulletin, vol. 1 no. 18 – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation,, March 27, 2015, File:Richard Matthew Stallman working on his Lemote Machine.JPG|thumb|Stallman using his Lemote machine at Indian Institute of Technology MadrasIndian Institute of Technology MadrasStallman has characterized Steve Jobs as having a "malign influence" on computing because of Jobs' leadership in guiding Apple to produce closed platforms. In 1993, while Jobs was at NeXT, Jobs asked Stallman if he could distribute a modified GCC in two parts, one part under GPL and the other part, an Objective-C preprocessor under a proprietary license. Stallman initially thought this would be legal, but since he also thought it would be "very undesirable for free software", he asked a lawyer for advice. The response he got was that judges would consider such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward them, and a judge would ask whether it was "really" one program, rather than how the parts were labeled. Therefore, Stallman sent a message back to Jobs which said they believed Jobs' plan was not allowed by the GPL, which resulted in NeXT releasing the Objective-C front end under GPL.WEB,weblink I hate to have to play this role with a fellow hacker, but ...,, August 17, 2019, For a period of time, Stallman used a notebook from the One Laptop per Child program. Stallman's computer is a refurbished ThinkPad T400s with Libreboot, a free BIOS replacement, and the GNU/Linux distribution Trisquel.WEB,weblink How I do my Computing,, 2018-09-16, Before the ThinkPad T400s, Stallman used a Thinkpad X60 with Libreboot and Trisquel GNU/Linux.WEB,weblinkweblink 2016-04-10, How I do my Computing, 2016-04-10, 2018-09-16, And before the X60, Stallman used the Lemote Yeeloong netbook (using the same company's Loongson processor) which he chose because, like the X60 and the T400s, it could run with free software at the BIOS level, stating "freedom is my priority. I've campaigned for freedom since 1983, and I am not going to surrender that freedom for the sake of a more convenient computer." Stallman's Lemote was stolen from him in 2012 while in Argentina. Before Trisquel, Stallman has used the gNewSense operating system.WEB,weblink An interview with Richard Stallman,, January 23, 2010, July 2, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink July 17, 2011, dead, WEB, GNU/Linux Meeting 2014: Richard Stallman è approdato a Palermo, Italian,weblink, April 3, 2014, July 17, 2014,

Copyright reduction

Stallman has regularly given a talk entitled "Copyright vs. Community" where he reviews the state of digital rights management (DRM) and names many of the products and corporations which he boycotts. His approach to DRM is best summed up by the FSF Defective by Design campaign. In the talks, he makes proposals for a "reduced copyright" and suggests a 10-year limit on copyright. He suggests that, instead of restrictions on sharing, authors be supported using a tax, with revenues distributed among them based on cubic roots of their popularity to ensure that "fairly successful non-stars" receive a greater share than they do now (compare with private copying levy which is associated with proponents of strong copyright), or a convenient anonymous micropayment system for people to support authors directly. He indicates that no form of non-commercial sharing of copies should be considered a copyright violation.WEB
, Technology should help us share, not constrain us
, Stallman, Richard
, April 17, 2012
, The Guardian: Guardian News and Media Limited
, La 'ley Sinde' es tan injusta que debería ser desobedecida
, Mora, Miguel
, El País
, Ediciones El País, S.L.
, es
, June 8, 2011
, April 1, 2013
, He has advocated civil disobedience in a comment on Ley Sinde.WEB,weblink Richard Stallman Opts to Disobey Anti-Piracy Law,, June 10, 2011, March 27, 2015, Stallman has also helped and supported the International Music Score Library Project in getting back online, after it had been taken down on October 19, 2007, following a cease and desist letter from Universal Edition.File:Richard M Stallman Swathanthra 2014 kerala.jpg|thumb|left|Stallman at Swatantra 2014, a conference organized by ICFOSSICFOSSStallman mentions the dangers some e-books bring compared to paper books, with the example of the Amazon Kindle e-reader that prevents the copying of e-books and allows Amazon to order automatic deletion of a book. He says that such e-books present a big step backward with respect to paper books by being less easy to use, copy, lend to others or sell, also mentioning that Amazon e-books cannot be bought anonymously. His short story "The Right to Read" provides a picture of a dystopian future if the right to share books is impeded. He objects to many of the terms within typical end-user license agreements that accompany e-books.WEB,weblink The Danger of E-Books, Stallman, Richard, Free Software Foundation, 2011–2013, March 27, 2013, Stallman discourages the use of several storage technologies such as DVD or Blu-ray video discs because the content of such media is encrypted. He considers manufacturers' use of encryption on non-secret data (to force the user to view certain promotional material) as a conspiracy.WEB,weblink Why Upgrade to GPLv3, Stallman, Richard, GNU Project, Free Software Foundation, October 16, 2014, Under the [DMCA] and similar laws, it is illegal ... to distribute DVD players unless they restrict the user according to the official rules of the DVD conspiracy, He recognized the Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal to be a criminal act by Sony. Stallman supports a general boycott of Sony for its legal actions against George Hotz.WEB,weblink Boycott Sony,, March 27, 2015, Stallman has suggested that the United States government may encourage the use of software as a service because this would allow them to access users' data without needing a search warrant.He denies being an anarchist despite his wariness of some legislation and the fact that he has "advocated strongly for user privacy and his own view of software freedom".WEB,weblink Stallman joins the Internet, talks net neutrality, patents and more, March 23, 2015, Network World,

Surveillance resistance

Stallman professes admiration for whistleblowers Julian AssangeWEB,weblink 'Join fight for privacy now!' Stallman on Snowden & how to escape surveillance, RT News, July 17, 2013, July 17, 2014, and Edward Snowden.WEB,weblink Richard Stallman: surveillance is incompatible with democracy,, January 22, 2014, March 27, 2015, He has spoken on Russia Today in support of free speech, and against government and corporate surveillance.Facebook is surveillance monster feeding on our personal data, Richard Stallman, Russia Today Youtube Channel.


File:Richard Stallman by gisleh 01.jpg|thumb|Stallman, in costume as St. IGNUcius, wears a halo consisting of the platter of an old hard disk drive. (Monastir, TunisiaTunisiaStallman places great importance on the words and labels people use to talk about the world, including the relationship between software and freedom. He asks people to say free software and GNU/Linux, and to avoid the terms intellectual property and piracy (in relation to copyright). One of his criteria for giving an interview to a journalist is that the journalist agrees to use his terminology throughout the article. He has been known to turn down speaking requests over some terminology issues.Stallman argues that the term intellectual property is designed to confuse people, and is used to prevent intelligent discussion on the specifics of copyright, patent, trademark, and other laws by lumping together areas of law that are more dissimilar than similar. He also argues that by referring to these laws as property laws, the term biases the discussion when thinking about how to treat these issues, writing:An example of cautioning others to avoid other terminology while also offering suggestions for possible alternatives is this sentence of an e-mail by Stallman to a public mailing list:


Open source for free software

His requests that people use certain terms, and his ongoing efforts to convince people of the importance of terminology, are a source of regular misunderstanding and friction with parts of the free software and open-source communities.After initially accepting the concept,WEB, Tiemann, Michael, History of the OSI, Open Source Initiative, April 16, 2014,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 12, 2014, Stallman rejects a common alternative term, open-source software, because it does not call to mind what Stallman sees as the value of the software: freedom. He wrote, "Free software is a political movement; open source is a development model."WEB,weblink Words to Avoid (or Use with Care) Because They Are Loaded or Confusing, Free Software Foundation, July 17, 2014, Thus, he believes that the use of the term will not inform people of the freedom issues, and will not lead to people valuing and defending their freedom. Two alternatives which Stallman does accept are software libre and unfettered software, but free software is the term he asks people to use in English. For similar reasons, he argues for the term proprietary software rather than closed-source software, when referring to software that is not free software.

Linux for the GNU Project

Stallman asks that the term GNU/Linux, which he pronounces {{IPAc-en|ɡ|n|uː|_|s|l|æ|ʃ|_|ˈ|l|ɪ|n|ə|k|s}} {{respell|GNOO|_|SLASH|_|LIN|əks}}, be used to refer to the operating system created by combining the GNU system and the kernel Linux. Stallman refers to this operating system as "a variant of GNU, and the GNU Project is its principal developer". He claims that the connection between the GNU project's philosophy and its software is broken when people refer to the combination as merely Linux. Starting around 2003, he began also using the term GNU+Linux, which he pronounces {{IPAc-en|ɡ|n|uː|_|p|l|ʌ|s|_|ˈ|l|ɪ|n|ə|k|s}} {{respell|GNOO|_|PLUS|_|LIN|əks}}, to prevent others from pronouncing the phrase GNU/Linux as {{IPAc-en|ɡ|n|uː|_|ˈ|l|ɪ|n|ə|k|s}} {{respell|GNOO|_|LIN|əks}}, which would erroneously imply that the kernel Linux is maintained by the GNU project.WEB,weblink Interview with Richard Stallman,, 2005, Andrews, Jeremy, GNU, 2005, 2019-09-10, The creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, has publicly stated that he objects to modification of the name, and that the rename "is their [the FSF] confusion not ours".WEB, Torvalds, Linus, LKML: Linus Torvalds: Re: GPLv3 Position Statement,weblink, Linux Kernel Mailing List, 24 March 2019,

Personal life

Stallman resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He speaks English, French, Spanish and some Indonesian. He has said that he is "an atheist of Jewish ancestry" and often wears a button that reads "Impeach God". He is openly childfree.{{r|Stallman, Why It Is (2012)}}Stallman refers to mobile phones as "portable surveillance and tracking devices", refusing to own a cell phone due to the lack of phones running entirely on free software. He also avoids using a key card to enter his office building since key card systems track each location and time that someone enters the building using a card. According to Stallman, with the exception of a few sites, such as his own website or sites related to his work with GNU and the FSF, he usually does not browse the web directly from his personal computer in order to prevent being connected with his browsing history. Instead, he uses GNU Womb's grab-url-from-mail utility, which can run on a separate system, and act as an email-based proxy to web sites: the user sends an e-mail which the script receives, the remote system downloads the web page content, and then the script emails the user the web page content. More recently he stated that he accesses all web sites via Tor, except for Pseudopedia (which generally disallows editing from Tor).Stallman has written a collection of filk and parody songs, granting unlimited permission to sing and perform them.WEB,weblink Doggerel – Richard Stallman,,

Controversy and resignation from MIT and Free Software Foundation

In September 2019, it was reported that Stallman had made statements on an internal CSAIL listserv in defense of deceased MIT professor Marvin Minsky, in relation to Virginia Giuffre's deposition that she was directed to have sex with Minsky by Jeffrey Epstein.WEB,weblink Richard Stalman leaves MIT after controversial remarks on rape, Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 2019-09-17, 2019-09-19, WEB,weblink Richard Stallman and the fall of the clueless nerd, Steven, Levy, Wired, 2019-09-19, 2019-09-18, As a response, Stallman resigned from both MIT and the Free Software Foundation.WEB,weblink Richard M. Stallman resigns, Free Software Foundation, 2019-09-19, 2019-09-19, NEWS, Sweeney, Emily, Ellement, John R.,weblink Richard Stallman resigns from MIT after comments about Jeffrey Epstein, The Boston Globe, 2019-09-17, 2019-09-18,

{{anchor|Honors and awards}} Honors and awards

Selected publications

  • BOOK, Stallman, Richard M, 1980, EMACS: The Extensible, Customizable, Self-Documenting Display Editor, Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory publication, AIM-519A,
  • BOOK, Stallman, Richard M, 2002,weblink GNU Emacs Manual, Boston, Massachusetts, GNU Press, 1-882114-85-X,
  • BOOK, Stallman, Richard M, McGrath, Roland, Smith, Paul D, 2004,weblink GNU Make: A Program for Directed Compilation, Boston, Massachusetts, GNU Press, 1-882114-83-3,

Selected essays:
  • BOOK, Stallman, Richard M, 2015,weblink Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman, Third, Boston, Massachusetts, GNU Press, 978-0-9831592-5-4,

See also

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WEB,weblink Richard Stallman – Award Winner, ACM Awards, Association for Computing Machinery, April 28, 2016, WEB,weblink KTH | Honorary doctors at KTH,, November 19, 2014, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink EFF: Torvalds, Stallman, Simons Win 1998 Pioneer Awards,, March 27, 2015,weblink November 8, 2017, dead, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink August 16, 2000, dead, > Guides > Industry > WWW8 Notes: Open-Source Software and Software Patents, April 2, 2015, mdy-all, WEB,weblink The Takeda Foundation,, March 27, 2015, WEB, Stallman shares Takeda award of nearly $1M, MIT, October 17, 2001,weblink November 26, 2006, WEB,weblink University of Glasgow :: University news :: Archive of news :: 2001 :: February :: University announces honorary degrees to celebrate 550th anniversary,, February 1, 2001, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink NAE Website – Dr. Richard M. Stallman,, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink Vrije Universiteit Brussel,, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink RESOLUCIÓN CS N° 204/04,, March 12, 2010, WEB, Richard Matthew Stallman ofrecerá conferencia orientada al uso del software libre,weblink Nota de Prensa, Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería del Perú, April 8, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink July 7, 2012, mdy-all, WEB, Universidad Garcilaso realizó Conferencia Magistral a cargo del Dr. Richard Stallman,weblink Noticias Garcilasinas, Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, April 8, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 23, 2012, WEB,weblink El padre del software libre, Premio Internacional Extremadura,, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink Laurea in Ingegneria Informatica a Richard Stallman., University of Pavia, WEB,weblink RMS Given Honorary Degree at Lakehead,, May 31, 2009, March 27, 2015, WEB,weblink Honorary Degree Recipients,, May 21, 2009, March 27, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 21, 2013, mdy-all, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, October 24, 2011, Honoris Causa for Richard Stallman, Free Software guru, Honoris Causa para Richard Stallman, el gurú del software libre, National University of Córdoba, Spanish, August 16, 2011, WEB,weblink Concordia awards 3 new honorary doctorates,, WEB,weblink Cérémonie des docteurs honoris causa 2016, WEB,weblink Richard Stallman: Apple fanboys are foolish people, February 22, 2016, YouTube, WEB,weblink Freiheitskämpfer, Rebell und Papst, Matthias, Schüssler, February 17, 2016,, WEB,weblink GNU Health CON 2016 – I International GNU Health Conference,, }}

External links

  • {{official website}}
  • {{IMDb name}}
  • {{Curlie|Computers/History/Pioneers/Stallman%2C_Richard}}
  • {{Gutenberg author|id=Stallman, Richard}}
  • {{Internet Archive author|sname=Richard Matthew Stallman}}
  • Essays on the Philosophy of the GNU Project, almost all written by Stallman
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